LITTLE CURRENT—There’s a new lure manufacturer on the scene and he’s already attracting a lot of angler attention, and real estate on store shelves.
Jason Buie of Vertex Baits is well-known on Manitoulin waters. Mr. Buie and wife Laura are often spotted fishing in and around Island lakes—muskie is his personal favourite—and love targeting large lakers during trips up north.
Some may not realize that many of those lunkers the pair boasts as catches were caught on lures created by Mr. Buie.
“I’ve been building lures for over 20 years,” he tells The Expositor. “I’ve just been tinkering away, making stuff for muskie, and steelhead in the river—mainly spoons.”
As any angler knows, once there’s a go-to colour or pattern that works for whatever species you’re targeting, there’s really no looking back. So, when a company goes out of business or stops making a certain colour, it can cause angler-anxiety. This happened to Mr. Buie. The company agreed to make his favourite lure as a custom order, but this got to be expensive. The fisherman then took it upon himself to recreate the lure and got to work making them himself.
And they worked.
“I then started to hunt down the components of the lures and started to build more and more,” Mr. Buie says. “Then the stock started to build up.”
“By my very nature, I’m detail-oriented,” Mr. Buie (a professional engineer) continues, going through the meticulous nature of how a spoon goes from being a naked piece of stainless steel to a deadly fish magnet.
Early this winter, he laid the groundwork for Vertex Baits while continuing to create more stock, putting together a website and a Facebook page with the help of his daughter Evan and in January he ‘flipped the switch’ and went live with the company.
Mr. Buie’s a busy guy. He’s a research and development manager for a company that designs products and systems for communications and safety, based out of Sudbury. Once he’s home from his commute, he can often be found working away in his basement-turned-workshop.
Vertex Baits makes Vertex Trollers in 13 patterns and two sizes, 3.75” and 4.75”, the Manitoulin Minnow in 22 patterns starts at 6.75” and the Attractor Troller Combo, which comes with a colour-matched set of a 7” attractor spoon and a VT375 trolling spoon in four different patterns. The hooks are Eagle Claw or VMC and the spoons are all made of North American stainless steel.
A lot of thought goes into each spoon. Mr. Buie says he finds himself constantly thinking about light penetration at all depths and the colours that work best at those depths. He’s always trying new things in the hunt for that perfect combo of size and colour.
As you can expect from a lure company, there are some interesting colour names, such as Blueberry Sparkle Paints and Dracula and some old standbys, like Chicken Wing and Green Alewife.
Much of Mr. Buie’s business comes from custom orders, for which he discovered he has a real knack and which, again, suit his meticulous nature.
Right now, the lures are available through his website, VertexBaits.com and at Up Top Sports Shop in Mindemoya.
Vertex Baits ships Canada-wide and into the United States. So far Mr. Buie’s has filled orders from across Ontario to places like Gogama, St. Catharines, Ottawa and everywhere in between.
A muskie guy, Mr. Buie says the market is currently flooded with some pretty talented custom lure-makers, so he’s focusing his talents on those spoons that will catch you a trophy salmon, trout, walleye or pike. But he is dabbling in body baits—so stay tuned for more from Vertex Baits in the future.
To contact Vertex Baits, visit vertexbaits.com or drop Mr. Buie an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the Vertex Baits motto states: Clip on Vertex. Catch fish. Repeat.